Tag Archives: southern romance

Q: Am I a Southern Writer? A: Maybe.

honeysuckle-rose.jpgEvery morning I read three things. Politics, sports and anything about writing and literature. This morning I happened to see an excellent article in The New York Times called “What Is a Southern Writer, Anyway?” by Margaret Renkl. Renkl wondered if Southern writing could survive the modern age—”mass media and Walmart”. I had to agree, I wondered if she was right.

Growing up in the North Carolina mountains, I saw a lot of Southern tropes and missed out on others. We had snow when I was a girl, and even the summers were not unbearable. Fresh mountain breezes made the 80-plus degree heat quite bearable and no one had air conditioning. We sat on front porches in the evenings, but my mother didn’t allow smoking (or any kind of tobacco) or drinking. Ever. Ahead of her time, she’d witnessed the destructive effects of both.

Most of my childhood, we had one car which my father used to get out and back to work at the DuPont plant where he moved up from mechanic to shift supervisor. We rode bikes and walked to get places when he was gone until he bought my mother a little Pinto to take us to school in. I remember riding back from the grocery store on my bike, balancing a gallon of milk between the handlebars.

And yes, there was the ugly part. I wrote about that in my book Weeds and Flowers. Shades of prejudice, rumors of Klan meetings, memories of burning crosses and hangings. There were ugly weeds in our Southern flower garden, but we only saw hints of them.

Renkl concludes in her article that, “Maybe being a Southern writer is only a matter of loving a damaged and damaging place, of loving its flawed and beautiful people, so much that you have to stay there, observing and recording and believing, against all odds, that one day it will finally live up to the promise of its own good heart.”

If that be the case, then I am a Southern writer although I don’t always write Southern literature. Every single one of my books has some tie to North Carolina, though, and most of them take place at least partly in my state. However, of all my books, I would only consider two of them to actually be somewhat Southern literature. Weeds and Flowers, of course, but also—if a romance can be Southern literature—Tracks in the Sand. (For the record, Tracks in the Sand is free in the Smashwords Summer Sale with code SS100.)

So although I grew up in a little town that became a tourist attraction with a booming economy and now live in another small NC town, I see the faults of small southern living. I love my state and always have. The two years I lived in other states (Maryland and Virginia) were miserable times for me. North Carolina is home, and home, after all, is what both Southern and romance writers write about.

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Welcome Zoe Dawson to My Blog!

Presto-Change-O, I’m switching blogs with author Zoe Dawson today! Please help me welcome her to talk about her upcoming releases! And if you want to hear anything from little ol’ me after that, I’m over at her beautiful blog: Zoe Dawson’s Blog.

Out of my Comfort Zone
By Zoe Dawson

authorpicEver since I started self-publishing I’ve been out of my comfort zone and for a routine-loving, grounded Taurus that’s downright scary.

Of course, anything new comes with a learning curve, which can be both satisfying and frustrating, but also creates a way for an author to stretch and grow. This summer I have two new releases which are both in genres that are in uncharted waters for me. When I decided to self-publish a year ago, I looked through all my rejected ideas and really thought about what was marketable and what I wanted to write. A series I had developed and tried to sell to traditional publishers, Going to the Dogs, came to mind. I loved the story ideas, thought they were very funny, but could I write comedy, something I’ve never even attempted? I pretty much wrote romantic suspense and sexy romance. I often wrote humor in the context of these novels, but not premise-based comedy. Do I feel I was successful? A resounding yes! I’m glad that I pushed myself out of that box and decided to branch out into something new. So with the first two books under my belt, I’m about to release the third book in the series that focuses on Poe Madigan.

Here is the blurb:

Hounded

I’ll get you and your little dogs, too!

Veterinarian Poe Madigan enters The Fur Ball with her Jack Russell terriers (aka The Terrible Two) to compete for a substantial cash prize that will keep her mother from losing her home. But when her fabulous partner sprains his ankle, Poe must trade him and his talented Bichon for a sexy, muscle-bound hunk who can’t dance and his basset hound, Lazy Daisy. If that’s not enough to make her despair, it seems The Terrible Two have angered someone and they’re receiving death threats!

Security specialist Jared Taylor promises one of Poe’s friends that he will go undercover as her dog dancing partner to protect her from danger. He didn’t expect to find his staid, traditional life would be turned all topsy-turvy and he would find a soft spot for a neglected hound and fall for a Goth princess. But when he reveals who he really is and why he is in Poe’s life destroy the foundation of trust they’ve built? Could he lose the real prize – Poe?

I will be revealing the cover on June 4, 2013 and I’d love for you to stop by my blog to see it and comment. My blog address is http://zoedawsonauthor.blogspot.com/

If you are a blogger and would be interested in helping me out, the sign up for the cover reveal will be up at ATMOR Tours sometime in May. Here’s their website: http://atomrbookblogtours.com/ And, thanks in advance!

If you’d like to see where it began and get Callie’s and Brooke’s stories, you can find Book #1 and #2 at the following retailers.
Leashed is available at Amazon
Groomed for Murder is available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

downloadThe second genre venture into unknown territory is new adult. I have always been interested in writing this type of novel. I’ve had practice with it over the years as writing twentysomething characters in traditional romance is a must. I’m excited to see how new adult is crossing genres and blossoming into an honest to God phenomenon. I will be starting A Perfect Secret series with A Perfect Mess.

Here is the blurb with little teasers for book #2 and #3:

I know what you did last summer.

Aubree Walker, the perfect girl most likely to succeed, is sure there’s only one person who knows what she did.

Booker Outlaw, one of the three Outlaw brothers—all identical, all gorgeous, all from the wrong side of the tracks, and all pure bad boys. He was always the unpredictable one, the one who would be brash enough to make it big self-publishing horror novels on the internet. He promised never to tell, but everyone knows you can never trust an Outlaw.

Then a year later, in the middle of the night, she receives a phone call at Tulane. Her aunt, who took her in after her mother’s death, has passed away under suspicious circumstances. Now she has to face that one person who knows all about what she did that summer—sexy Booker.

Returning to Hope Parish to lay her beloved aunt to rest, stirs up all those ugly memories. When Aubree starts getting threats, she can’t help but wonder if what she did last summer was tied to her aunt’s death. Afraid, she turns to the only person who knows the truth and Booker doesn’t hesitate to offer his broad shoulder for her to lean on. But Booker has a secret of his own that could crush their fledgling relationship.

As the hot, sultry summer days move on, she finds that even a perfectly smart girl can lose her heart to a perfectly bad boy. What is she going to do when someone starts asking questions Aubree doesn’t want to answer? She’s knee deep into a terribly dangerous, wholly life changing, who-can-she-really-depend-on perfect mess.

A Perfect Secret Series: Three perfect girls, three perfect secrets, one unholy trinity

A Perfect Mistake, Book #2 – A preacher’s daughter, a reckless Outlaw, and a secret that will change her life forever.

A Perfect Dilemma, Book #3 – The town’s poor little rich girl, a sweet-talking Outlaw, and a secret that will ruin all that she holds dear.

Will I be successful at it? That remains to be seen. All I can say is that I will write a heartfelt novel with romantic suspense elements that will hopefully touch hearts and keep readers coming back for more.

Now talk to me. Have you ever attempted to move out of your comfort zone? How did it work out for you?

Thank you for having me Michelle!

About the Author

Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy, new adult and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

You can find her at the following links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Facebookpage | Blog | Goodreads | Newsletter

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